Friday, November 24, 2006

Special Friday Review of The Great Book: Sitcoms of Norman Lear by Sean Campbell

Welcome to a special "Black Friday" edition of mini-reviews. Today on Black Friday, we will give you a bargain. A review of a great book that looks at the classic sitcoms of legendary producer Norman Lear. We have given you a few news items on the blog on this book before, so I'm sure some of you are familiar with it already. 17-year-old Sean Campbell has written a truly wonderful book and now skees53 has a review for us on The Sitcoms of Norman Lear:

The Sitcoms of Norman Lear by Sean Campbell

The Sitcoms of Norman Lear (McFarland, $35) is exactly what it sounds like--a book about the sitcoms of one Norman Lear, the man that changed television forever. Written by Sean Campbell, the book isn't just typical fluff; instead, it is a rather complete history of the successes (and sometimes even failures, believe it or not) of the television mogul and never casts any important details aside as being insignificant.
The book follows Lear's career from just before the days the hit sitcom All in the Family premiered on CBS, and covers all of his other major successes from the 1970s, including Sanford & Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, and One Day at a Time. Not a detail is missing about these shows. In fact, there is a chapter for each one of these shows and includes all of the details of the shows (as well as a chapter dealing with the failures of Lear, even if it is hard to believe that a genius such as Lear could have any failures!), much like an E! True Hollywood Story, including the good things and the bad things that happened on the set. The book extensively covers the background of the show (such as what was going on in the world at the time of the show and how that may have influenced the show), the lives and attitudes of those involved with the show, the important episodes of the shows, and even how these sitcoms have changed the world (and television) into the 21st century. Whether it be Norman Lear writing an episode of All in the Family where Archie dies or CBS demanding that 26 lines be removed from the first episode of One Day at a Time, none of the important details are missing. Everything is well-researched too, with literally hundreds of citations from resources such as articles (from newspapers, magazines, and journals), statistics derived from opinion polls, books, interviews, and of course one of the best primary sources of all--the episodes of the sitcoms of Norman Lear!
The level of coverage varies for each show (All in the Family and Good Times seem to have the most extensive coverage, but that makes sense, because one All in the Family was the show that started it all and Good Times is a pop-culture legend in its own right), but regardless, each and every show seems to be covered rather thoroughly and this book is a must-own for anybody that appreciates the greatest sitcoms of all-time!
-- Reviewed by skees53
(5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
Official Website of The Sitcoms of Norman Lear by Sean Campbell


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, December 5

The Simpsons - "The Star of the Backstage" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A musical comes to life in Springfield as Marge stages a revival of her beloved high school show -- but her wonderful memories are threatened by the return of a rival from the past.

Bob's Burgers - "Driving Big Dummy" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob gets roped into a road trip with Teddy; Linda and the kids compete for the title of employee of the day.

The Simpsons - "A Springfield Summer Christmas for Christmas" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A cable channel films a Christmas movie in Springfield, and Skinner falls in love.

The Great North - "Brace/Off Adventure" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Judy embarks on a journey after getting some unexpected news from the dentist.

Bob's Burgers - "Yachty or Nice" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When the Belchers get an unexpected invitation to cater the Glencrest Yacht Club's holiday boat parade, Bob wonders if there's a catch; Louise has her eye on the present-loaded Santa Schooner.

Family Guy - "The First No L" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When the family fails to help Lois with the Christmas shopping, she walks out on the family and the Griffins must try to save Christmas on their own.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 29)

Friday, December 3

  • Bill Burr (F Is for Family/Townies) - Watch Bill on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Dwayne Johnson (Young Rock) - Dwayne appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Maya Erskine (PEN15/Casual/Betas) and Anna Konkle (PEN15) - Maya and Anna are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah guest co-hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love/Love, Inc.) - Holly is a guest on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Son of Zorn/Suburgatory) - Cheryl will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kal Penn (Sunnyside/Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings. He talks about Comedy Central's Hot Mess Holiday on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Michel Urie (Younger/Partners) - Michael is a guest on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • J. K. Simmons (Growing Up Fisher/Family Tools) - J. K. talks about Being the Ricardos on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family/Ed) - Julie talks about Mixtape on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October-December)

Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Mom - The Eighth and Final Season Punky Brewster (1984-88) - The Complete Series (2021 Release) I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - The Honeymooners Specials - A Christmas Carol
11/02 - Mom - The Eighth and Final Season
11/02 - Punky Brewster - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - Sex and the City - The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
11/09 - Saved by the Bell (2020) - Season One
11/09 - Younger - The Complete Series
11/16 - Kevin Can F*** Himself - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
11/23 - Dead Pixels - Seasons One and Two
11/30 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (2021 Release) (Blu-ray)
12/07 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/07 - Rick & Morty - Season 5 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook)
12/14 - The Abbott and Costello Show - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
12/14 - Letterkenny - Season 9
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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